Shock rocker Alice Cooper plays it straight and reverent with his take on the Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby,” one of dozens of cover songs that appear on the forthcoming compilation The Art of McCartney. In the song’s video, the “Welcome to My Nightmare” singer cuddles up to a mic in front of a red floral tapestry, emoting the song’s gloomy lyrics in a way that could serve as commentary about his own Alice Cooper character – or at least that’s what the sad pic of Alice in full makeup at the end seems to suggest.
“We were way influenced by the Beatles’ music, by the great songwriting of Lennon and McCartney,” Cooper said in a statement. “If you ask Ozzy and Steven Tyler the same thing, you’ll find that there’s a lot of melody in what we all do. We’re always going to be a little more horse-powered than the Beatles were, but we always referred back to those melody lines.”
In addition to “Eleanor Rigby,” Cooper recorded a version of the McCartney song “Smile Away,” which appeared on his second solo record, Ram, in 1971, for the comp. Cooper discussed recording both songs in a behind-the-scenes video.
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That track is one of eight bonus cuts that will appear on deluxe editions of the album, which celebrates McCartney’s songwriting with the Beatles, Wings and on his own as a solo artist. A wide array of famous artists from varying genres gathered together to pay tribute to the singer-songwriter on The Art of McCartney.
One of the most interesting things about it is seeing which songs they chose. Bob Dylan opted to record “Things We Said Today,” B.B. King took on “On the Way,” Willie Nelson tackled “Yesterday,” Billy Joel picked “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Live and Let Die” and Kiss followed suit by picking two songs, “Venus and Mars” and “Rock Show.” Earlier in September, Rolling Stone premiered a version of “Hello Goodbye” that the Cure recorded with Paul’s son, James.
The Art of McCartney is due out November 18th in a variety of formats. The most extensive edition includes a hardbound book, a DVD doc, artwork signed by Beatles associate Alan Aldridge, a USB drive designed to look like McCartney’s violin-shaped bass and more.